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Uber is in talks to acquire a successful electric scooter company. The rideshare business is considering buying either Bird or Lime in a move that’s supposed to increase Uber’s strength in the transportation business.
Lime and Bird take over streets
Electric scooter rental companies Lime and Bird have become a phenomenon in transportation over the past year. The startups have changed city travel by enabling millions of riders to move around their cities without using as much gas as cars. Lime has been valued at $1 billion, while Bird could be worth $2 billion when it goes public.
While some hail the scooters as helping people go green, some critics say Bird and Lime have hurt their towns. Many claim that the proliferation of the transportation devices have caused more traffic and injured pedestrians. Other residents have complained about scooters being abandoned in the streets after users have are done riding them.
How Lime and Bird can help Uber
Despite the mixed opinions about the electric scooters, the ridesharing corporation has been eager to break into another sector of the transportation business. Lime already has some investment capital from Uber and could help the company in the future. Renting the scooters through the Uber app may lead the ride-hailing service to become a one-stop destination for customers needing to travel around town.
Uber hasn’t confirmed or denied the reports of buying an e-scooter company. Rachel Holt, the corporation’s head of new mobility, wouldn’t directly comment about the news of the potential purchase.
‘Now that Uber is really, really devoted to being a major player in the micro-mobility space, we're getting approached constantly by players on the global scene, wanting to partner with us, looking for acquisitions. My guess is that those kind of rumours will continue and we're still really focused on building our own product right now', said Holt.